Parents hear from school leaders on possible Jones Valley consolidation

Parents of students at Jones Valley K through 8 school will have an opportunity{}Monday{}to learn and ask questions about a possible consolidation of the school.

The meeting is an effort to save money in the district's reserve fund. Right now,{}the recommendation is to move the kindergarten through fifth grade students to the new Oxmoor Elementary School and turn Jones Valley into a middle school.

State-appointed chief financial officer Dr. Ed Richardson says that plan would cause the least amount of change. He says Jones Valley K through 8 is overcrowded. Eighty percent of school students are middle school age, Richardson says.

School board member Wardine Alexander, who has Jones Valley is in her district, says the main issue she has heard from parents centers on transportation and busing. She also says there will be representatives from the district's transportation department. At the community meeting Friday, Richardson hopes to address concerns.

"There have been a lot of changes and I understand parents would like the right to know and students want to know, I can't fault that but we are trying to reach a financial balance that puts Birmingham in a stable condition," Alexander says.

Richardson says, after these consolidations, the changes should be over. The next step for the state team is to build a budget in June. He says it should reflect the one month's operating balance of at least $17 million. But he says they won't know for certain until the end of fiscal year--September 2014.